Another DIY Project!

I am out of my skill set when it comes to anything electrical! I feel a lot more comfortable with tools like wrenches, ratchets, and pliers. Those are the instruments of automobile mechanics like my dad and brother that are used every day in their shop. I have shied away from wiring, outlets, breakers, and the like. One reason is that it’s no fun getting accidentally shocked, and I have had that unpleasant experience! However, occasionally, I will venture out of my comfort zone and engage in a “Do It Yourself” small electrical project.

Yesterday was one of those occasions! I have changed out duplex outlets a few times in the two houses we have owned over the last 36 years. That morning, I had told the local hardware store salesman who sold me the outlet and a lamp socket too, (for another project), “I am not comfortable with this kind of stuff, but I can follow my nose!” In other words, I can see what the old one looked like and then replicate what I see to reconnect the new one. As a back-up, I knew that I could also watch an online YouTube tutorial. Fortunately, observation was all that was required. You know how men are with reading directions?!

First, I replaced the lamp socket at the bench out in the garage. This was so I could give my “honey do” list a much-needed checkmark! It seems that at least one “house-related thing” needs addressing every day. Sometimes it’s as simple as replacing a light bulb or tightening a cabinet handle. This time the project involved replacing the bedroom nightstand lamp on/off switch. Monique had been complaining for months that the switch was stiff and felt like it was stripped inside. It was, but I had procrastinated and tried to put her off with “expert” comments like, “Just keep turning it until it comes on or goes off!” I reasoned that there was still some life in the “old girl!” To be clear… I mean the lamp socket! 😊

After that initial lamp project, I then came into the house for a slightly more challenging undertaking for me. After tripping the breaker, removing the wall plate and the old outlet from the electrical box, I removed the old plug in and replaced it with the new. There are just five wires to loosen and reconnect including the ground wire on a standard duplex outlet. The hardest part was manipulating those stiff copper wires to get them reattached to the terminal screws. I found  myself praying, “Lord, have mercy!” Patience is not my strong suit!

I felt satisfied with those morning tasks, but I came away with a few reflections. I wish I had had another hand to hold the flashlight in a rather dark corner of the room or to fetch a tool that I hadn’t thought to bring in from the garage. I love the Scripture that emphasizes, “Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed!” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, NLT). The encouragement and “attaboys” from an onsite family member, a DIY neighbor or friend make frustrating times a lot more manageable.

Another thing I was reminded of during these projects is that prayer is completely appropriate no matter how trivial we may consider the task. I used to have an old friend who would share what many of us thought were minor and everyday concerns at a small group prayer meeting. I heard him defend his practice by simply quoting the Bible back to me, “Preacher, God says, ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.’”(Philippians 4:6a). He would emphasize anything and everything to make the point! I couldn’t argue with that!

In truth, these were not “Do It Yourself” projects for me. I had prayed earlier that morning long before undertaking those simple tasks. And God had answered, and everything worked out! I wasn’t surprised to feel His presence encouraging and helping me! God does this all the time in my life and for others who call on His Name. He is always good and faithful to His promises!

Our part, no matter what the undertaking, is to pray and “Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6b-7a).

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Mike I love reading these every week! Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Matt. Writers need and appreciate readers!


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